IHS Chemical Week

Cracker Turnarounds Drive Feedstock Costs Lower but Boost Ethylene Pricing

11:21 AM MST | January 12, 2012 | Lindsey Bewley

With the North American turnaround season is beginning to gear up, U.S. ethane prices have fallen 7% since the start of the year, to about 68 cts/gal, as a result of reduced operating rates. Several major petchem producers—including ExxonMobil Chemical, LyondellBasell and Shell Chemical—are taking down large crackers for maintenance this month, resulting in lower demand for ethane and increased demand for purchased ethylene. The slide in raw material ethane prices has resulted in a 12- cts/lb change in ethane/ethylene cash margins, players say.  ...

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